Following the Thank You Trail

on in Fundraising

It’s spreadsheet time. Time for reviewing appeal returns, seeing who showed up for the first time, who gave more, and who disappeared.

Who’s doing that eyeballing?

Who’s engaged in letting your donors know how much their gift, their very presence, makes possible for you? And when?

How wide is that circle of thank you?

Of course, every donor, down to the last $10 contribution, gets a thank you from the organization. And hopefully it’s still snail mail, not just an emailed receipt.

But who gets phone calls? And from whom?

And when? A one-shot in January, or spread throughout the year?

Donors are our partners in getting our work done. That means that throughout the organization’s daily, weekly, monthly work life, we need to think of including them “inside the door.”

And that that impulse – to call a donor and say thank you when an organizing victory occurs…to invite a donor to be your guest to a press conference…to ask a donor to attend the end-of-year program celebration so you can give them a round of applause – has to come not just from the development staff, but from the core of the organization itself.

Thank you trail Creating a culture of philanthropy – an expression that’s being bandied about a lot nowadays.

Part of what that means is creating a culture in which donors are viewed as integral allies every step of the way – where the “Thank You Trail” wends its way in tandem with the entire organization’s program calendar.

And where the Thank You Trail is walked organization-wide.

 

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